GEOGRAPHICAL INVESTIGATIONS FOR THE LEAVING CERTIFICATE
Our one-day projects are specially designed for the geography fieldwork investigation topics each year. In all our projects students are involved in using various items of equipment to make measurements and collect data that can be used for presentation and analysis.
TOPIC 1 CHANGING LAND USE IN A LOCAL AREA.
TITLE: Changing land use in the Burren since 1840.
Based in the Caher valley the pattern of present day land use is mapped and measurements are made to assess the physical factors that influence this such as rock type, soil characteristics, altitude, slope and aspect. Then by referring to maps from 1916 and 1840 past land use can be inferred and compared. Reasons for changes in land use can be assessed from secondary sources.
TOPIC 3 A STUDY OF THE GEOLOGY OF A LOCAL AREA.
Two projects are available for topic 3 this year, we have done both before:
A: Geology and landscape at Slieve Elva.
In this study the main rock types found in the Burren will be identified and their effect on the landscape recorded. Students will also examine the impact of the different rocks on landscape features, vegetation and land use.
B: Geology and landscape at Mullaghmore.
In this study students will identify the rock making up the Burren using various means. Aspects of the landscape will be recorded and related to the geological structure. The impact of water on the landscape will be examined and the influence of geological factors on one particular landform will be studied
TOPIC 5 INVESTIGATE THE IMPACT OF 2 SPECIFIC PROCESSES OF EROSION ON THE SHAPING OF THE LANDSCAPE IN A COASTAL ENVIRONMENT.
TITLE: A study of coastal processes in Liscannor Bay, Co. Clare
This study examines two specific processes of erosion namely attrition and abrasion – examining their impacts on shaping the landscape of Liscannor bay. The students will gather evidence of attrition at one location and will then compare abrasion as a cliff forming process erosion at two locations – Creg beach and Clauhan; examining the impact of rock type, coastal aspect and height above tide level so that students can evaluate which location is more susceptible to erosion. They will also investigate if erosion is occurring on the day of their visit.
TOPIC 5 A STUDY OF THE IMPACT OF THE GEOMORPHIC PROCESSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND DEPOSITION ON THE FORMATION OF ONE COASTAL LANDFORM.
Two projects are available for topic 5 this year.
- TITLE: A study of sand dunes at Bishops Quarter beach, near Ballyvaughan.
This study examines the formation of sand dunes, looking at both physical and biological factors. Longshore drift, wind speed and wind direction will be measured, the role of marram grass in their growth will be examined by recording different sand dune zones and measurements will be made to record recent changes. All the work is done at one location close to the Outdoor Centre.
- TITLE: A study of Creg beach, Liscannor Bay.
In this study students will record data to examine how pebbles are deposited on a beach and record examples of deposition features. The direction of longshore drift will be determined by identifying and comparing bedrock type and pebble rock type at two locations; this will be related to wind speed and direction. The impact of longshore drift on a river mouth will also be observed and measured. Most of the project work is done at Creg beach with a short visit to Doolin afterwards.
TOPIC 6 AN INVESTIGATION OF THE IMPACT OF HUMAN ACTIVITY ON GEOMORPHIC PROCESSES IN A COASTAL ENVIRONMENT.
- TITLE: Coastal protection at Lehinch, Co. Clare
This study is based in and around Lehinch. At Creg beach students will record erosion features, collect evidence of attrition and measure wind and wave activity. In Lehinch students will examine and map different types of coastal protection and learn how these have changed as the town has developed.
GENERAL BURREN STUDIES
The limestone landscape of the Burren is unique in Ireland and examples of most karstic land forms can be seen here. The extensive limestone pavements with their clints and grykes clearly illustrate the process of chemical erosion.
Caves are an important feature of limestone areas and extensive caves are known beneath the Burren’s surface. Instructors are available who can lead small groups into wild caves.
Near Lisdoonvarna, the limestone is overlain by impermeable rock with surface drainage providing a strong contrast to the high Burren where there are many dry valleys and closed depressions ranging from small dolines and turloughs to the large polje at Carron.
There are many excellent examples of glacial action in the Burren. These include glaciated valleys, moraines and erratics.